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Friday, March 10, 2006

This Would Have Been Nice A Week Ago

The Washington Post has finally decided to chime in on the Ports Deal with a very good article detailing US Port operations, who manages the terminals and why the US is out of the business for the most part.

It should have probably printed this a week ago or so, when the Baltimore Sun printed their article on the same issue, since they have a wider readership on the Hill.

(added at 6:30am)The New York Times has a good article about the possible backlash and consequences from other countries looking to invest here.

After you read that, check out David Ignatius' column "Burning Allies -- and Ourselves" on possible fallout, and on the UAE where he just spent some time. Regular readers know I usually go head to head with him on is column, this week I'll stand behind him on it.

While it's true that 83% of folks polled didnt' like this deal, consider where they were getting their information when it was taken. The media, until late last week, was concentrating very little on how the ports actually work. Most of the stories published and printed on this were "security concerns" type stories, parrotting the chirping coming out of congress on the issue, not presenting actual facts.

For nearly 20 years, since the "tanker wars" in the Gulf, the UAE has been a good friend to the US. A few years ago when Saudi Arabia asked us to remove our military presence, guess who picked up a good chunk of the slack, the UAE.

Unfortunately a bunch of folks in congress have decided election year politics, instead of truth, and honesty about the deal were more important. And a lot of sheep, not wanting to take the time to look for information on their own followed their shepards.

The UAE is taking the high road on this, and I'm glad. I'd hate to see them riot, or get pissed about it, because that would be more ammunition for the xenophobes who killed this deal.

And yes, I'm calling some folks who have read here xenophobes, defined as "A person unduly fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or foreign peoples" (thanks Miriam). Read your comments, that's what it comes down to.

But don't feel bad, you have most of the US congress to keep you company, along with Michelle Malkin.

UPDATES: Two new articles on Washingtonpost.com from the AP.
The fallout is already starting, US and UAE postpone trade talks.

Bush responds to the deal falling apart, and points out this is a bad message to send to people we need on our side.

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Check Out MacsMind with more information on the economic hit this may cause


Blogger LargeBill said...


After 911, some were more concerned with "Why do they hate us?" than retaliating. Well, the overreaction to the thought of (of my gosh) doing business with Arabs should help ansewr that question.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Patriotic Sgt said...

This is why CFIUS was formed. Congress can not take their heads out of their backsides long enough to catch a breath of fresh air, let alone make sound decisions on our countries economy and foreign relations. That is why the final decision was given to the President in accordance with CFIUS. We will now start feeling the effect on our economy. Hey, smooth move CONGRESS. Crazy, you hit right in one of your previous posts, it will hurt us economically in the long run as well as make other "allies" rethink their trust and work with the US.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Bill, it most certainly doesn't give them reason to throw a lot of trust at us.

Sgt, you are dead on about CFIUS, and why it was set up like it is.
Unfortunately, congress still seems set on changing it so they can play politics some more.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

I think that if we were to stop where we are now that the port deal is dead, we will be a bunch of racists. Instead, I think everybody from the Chinese to England need to be forced through legislation to give up there port operating licenses and allow American companies to take over. It's our country, why shouldn't we be the ones to run it? If American companies aren't capable of running our ports, maybe we should ask why?

For me, the whole port deal has never been about race or security but about sovereignty.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Ed, one of the Post articles I linked to and one in the Baltimore Sun answer the 'why' question. Congress basically legislated the US out of the international seafaring business in the 1970's and 1980's. Most terminals are operated by the shipping lines, that way they don't have to compete with other companies for dock scheduling. Since we don't have any major shipping lines, we don't control much of our own terminal space.

Congress thought they were doing good, but the cost involved in what they wanted forced shippers to either move out of the US, or sell their lines. They couldn't be profitable being registered here.

That darned "unintended consequences law" kicked in.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

I learn something new everyday. I missed the link but will go and check it out. Thanks.

3:08 PM  

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